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Old 09-29-2012, 07:11 PM   #71
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:27 PM   #72
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I once went to a potluck where everyone brought a desert. It was fun for a while, but then it started making me (and others) feel not so good. That was 35 years ago and I had a steel stomach then; now it would kill me and I'm not a diabetic.

But I do have dietary requirements and have to avoid things where I can't tell what is in them. I also avoid things that are fatty and sugary. Where we live, a lot of people think marshmallows are one of the basic food groups. So I eat some good food before we go so I won't starve and hope for the best at the potluck. It used to be everyone ate the same stuff, but now we have diabetics, vegetarians, vegans, gluten free, and so on.

Labels would be great and some people bring them but I have seen few potlucks where it is done for all the food. I don't much like potlucks because of poor food, moochers (a bag of chips and some canned salsa is not a great contribution), unknown contents, and difficulty in getting a balanced, healthy meal. I know some people don't have time or are awful at preparing food, so if they don't bring anything on occasion, ok, but not all the time. A few beers make it all look better, though. A few beers also can make me say what I really think (i.e., don't ask me what I thought of your potato chip and marshmallow casserole with fake whipped cream on top, or I'll tell you).

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Old 09-30-2012, 05:24 AM   #73
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It may seem weird, but given my dietary needs, if I don't know what people are bringing, I'll brown-bag to a potluck, so I can eat with everybody but not have to trust food I don't know OR inflict my dietary restrictions on other people.

Besides, it keeps me from being a mooch.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:46 AM   #74
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When drivers in the far left lane carelessly veer right, cut you off and get off at the right ramp you are already passing while you are towing.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:37 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
2. Customers who leave their vehicle pumpside and do a little shopping, especially when I am towing my Airstream.
Sign posted on the gas pump:
"DO NOT MOVE YOUR VEHICLE UNTIL YOU PAY FOR YOUR FUEL"
So, you get in line and wait for 20 minutes to pay, and the guy behind you at the pump is ready to strangle you.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:57 AM   #76
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When drivers in the far left lane carelessly veer right, cut you off and get off at the right ramp you are already passing while you are towing.
On our recent trip most of our travel was on interstates. It was extremely common for passing vehicles to pull back in front of us so close that we could not possibly have avoided hitting them had something caused them suddenly slow. That is not just annoying but is extremely dangerous. It is just one of many things happening more and more frequently that demonstrate what a large percentage of our population goes through life either totally oblivious of, or uncaring about, the effect their actions have on others around them. It makes me more sad than angry.

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Old 09-30-2012, 12:12 PM   #77
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It may seem weird, but given my dietary needs, if I don't know what people are bringing, I'll brown-bag to a potluck, so I can eat with everybody but not have to trust food I don't know OR inflict my dietary restrictions on other people.

Besides, it keeps me from being a mooch.
You wrote one important word - "trust." You can add "liability" to that.

All a club, association, or non-profit organization needs is a lawsuit arising from contaminated food. It is difficult to secure insurance for that "what if?" risk. For those reasons, I have advised several organizations not to host a potluck - or seek other options. Many local governments are also cracking down on events involving food not prepared in a commercial kitchen.

I'm not trying to be a party pooper or ruin tradition, but all you need is one bad dish affecting dozens, and those traditions will be spoiled for all forever.

So, what are those options:

- Gene mentioned a dessert potluck. There is little risk of food contamination with baked goods. Make sure there are sugar/gluten-free alternatives and a big fruit tray. I have organized a couple dessert potlucks. One was for a flying club. We had so much left over - it was donated to our airport neighbours: flying schools, maintenance, a company building jet simulators etc. I delivered the left-overs from another one to a soup kitchen. It was gratefully received and enjoyed by many. When organizing an event for the privileged (and Airstreamers are indeed privileged) it's nice to share with those who are not.

- focus on one low-risk foodstuff. KISS or "keep-it-simple stoopid."
Have everyone bring a baked potato and one fixing - chives, bacon bits, a can of chili, etc. to contribute to the fixings station. If you want to do the glamping thing, how about a mashtini bar? A big pan of mashed potatoes with fixings served in a martini glass. For a large group or event in the boonies, get the plastic glasses at a party-rental store beforehand. (These things go better when there is one person in charge to attend to these details).

- have everyone donate monetarily to the pot and have take-out delivered or picked-up. A Chinese food feast, pizza, whatever.

- people eat with their eyes. Do a really good presentation!

Sorry for getting carried away (again) but it doesn't take much to get my gears in full event mode.

Mashtini with cream-cheese, butter, and dill "olive." These are soooooooo good!
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:54 PM   #78
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I have never gotten sick from a potluck, but I have from restaurants with supposedly clean, Health Dep't approved kitchens. But outdoor potlucks have some dangers—potato salad or other dishes with eggs, mayo and other items that deteriorate quickly in the sun. Chicken also goes bad fast (a chicken sandwich box lunch when I was a kid has not been forgotten, or actually the results of chicken gone bad have not been forgotten).

So, I suppose potluck food is prepared by people who have a higher regard for cleanliness than some people who work in restaurants. That's not foolproof, however.

And a thought about words—I don't have dietary restrictions. I have dietary choices. I choose not to eat processed foods, meat and things that spoil quickly. I am much healthier than my parents who didn't choose my way. They lived a long time, but they didn't have the quality of life I do. Now if I didn't eat so much of that healthy food, that would be good, especially those baked goods that don't spoil and taste so yummy. Though I read chocolate is good for you.

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Old 09-30-2012, 01:02 PM   #79
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With all the complaints about the RV fridges not keeping cool in the heat, I am not sure pot luck is the way to go.

I like to get together and chat, but good old (Canadian) beer is all one really needs for that.

However, after that I will eat anything.

Dave
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:42 PM   #80
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Hi, one thing about potlucks, that I feel is different from a lot of restaurants, is the fact that the cooks eat what they make. [and give it to their own family members] And if the makers don't get sick, you shouldn't either. I like to pick simple looking food items and try to stay away from hot spicy things. I will ask people if this is hot or spicy so I don't put anything on my plate and have to trash it, especially if the person who made it is sitting right next to me.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:48 PM   #81
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So, I suppose potluck food is prepared by people who have a higher regard for cleanliness than some people who work in restaurants. That's not foolproof, however.
One thing the restaurant buffets have going for them is the "cough shield," that piece of glass above the food which helps prevent air borne contaminants from a sneeze or cough being spewed onto the foodstuffs. They also help keep dust, dirt, and hair out. No such thing exists at a potluck. The offerings are usually all crammed onto the potluck table - you have to reach over the food to get something in the middle. What really turns my stomach is seeing a long dirty sleeve of a sweater with dog/human hair on it reaching over the food to get at something.

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And a thought about words—I don't have dietary restrictions. I have dietary choices.
Unless it's a vegetarian or vegan potluck, you are bound to get an overload of sugar, salt, and fat.

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With all the complaints about the RV fridges not keeping cool in the heat, I am not sure pot luck is the way to go.
Excellent point, massey. Plus, you may be patronizing food sources on the road you are not familiar with. Stay away from supermarket delis! They are the worse food-safe offenders.

I think I've lost my appetite. massey's beer-only buffet is starting to sound pretty good.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:11 PM   #82
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Yoweee! Some very strong feelings about potlucks, which are traditional at every rally we've attended.

Some of this seems a little extreme and phobic, IMO. Just sayin'.

i have never gotten sick from any potluck I have attended.

I, for one, will continue to encourage and participate in potlucks, but perhaps make sure folks know what is in any dish I bring.

In turn, those with severe allergies should make that known. No one wants a rescue run at a rally.


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Old 09-30-2012, 03:10 PM   #83
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I have to agree with Maggie here. Some of this seems a tad paranoid to me. Granted you can get sick from eating tainted food, but the last time that happened to me I was flying home on leave and ate something on the airplane that had me sick for days. That was 1973.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:35 PM   #84
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What you call "paranoid" is professionalism to me (as an event planner).

Someone PM'd me, asking if I have any intent on organizing a rally. I told him I may, but I would like to attend a rally first. On second thought, I don't see any reason why I would have to attend anyone else's rally. My expectations would be high - I may be disappointed (Alumapalooza excepted).

If I do organize a rally (tentatively called Diamonds 'n Rivets) it would be unlike anything you have been to. I guarantee that.
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